One of Us

Alison Leapley-Williams


Alison Leapley-Williams has a mental health private practice called Life Unbridled, LLC where she uses several forms of therapy to help athletes achieve their performance goals by mental side of sports. She also started Athletic Performance Solution, LLC with her husband as another outlet to carry on their mission of helping athletes and combat the stigmas still associated with mental health.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

My name is Alison. My family and I have been in the Ponte Vedra Beach area for the last 13 years.

My husband is retired Army and during his last deployment, our two oldest children and I moved here to the beaches.

Since then, we grew to a family of six. Although we have only been here for 13 years, my family has been part of the beaches for the last 30-plus years. 

My husband and I recently started a business called Athletic Performance Solution, LLC to help athletes gain the performance edge both mentally and physically.

My husband has been training people from all walks of life since retiring (and before) and has grown to work with athletes.

I have a masters in performance enhancement/injury prevention (essentially strength and conditioning athletes) and added another masters in clinical mental health counseling at the University of North Florida.

During my internship at UNF, I worked exclusively with the athletes on their mental health and their mental performance both in the office and outside while working with horses as part of equine assisted learning.

After my internship and graduation, I was hired to continue my work with the athletes. I am now a licensed therapist, certified in mental performance and equine assisted learning and therapy. 

What are some of the ways you help local athletes?

Adversity is no stranger to people of all walks of life and certainly not athletes. I help athletes through hard times whether it be on the field or off the field. I work with both teams and individuals.

While working with teams, we work on cohesion, standards, effort as well as the mental performance skills the coaches feel are necessary.

When working with individuals, I listen to the athletes and work with them to individualize the plan to fit their needs. There definitely is not one size that fits all when it comes to mental health or mental performance. 

Has the mental side of sports always been a passion for you?

Honestly, I got into mental health to help veterans and their families since it was so close to me but quickly uncovered, it was too close.

I was given an amazing opportunity, due to my background in sports as a strength and conditioning coach and former student athlete, to work with athletes.

I quickly realized why this work resonated with me. As a former athlete, I walked away from my sport after an injury and if I had someone like me to help me through it, I may have stuck with it. 

You recently started your own private practice in the Ponte Vedra area, what are your goals and objectives for the practice moving forward?

I have a mental health private practice called Life Unbridled, LLC where I provide mental health services working with equines, walk and talk therapy, traditional talk therapy and art therapy.

In addition, my husband and I have recently started Athletic Performance Solution, LLC to help athletes of all ages level up and help them achieve goals of playing at their best.

We are hoping to grow and reach more athletes that are struggling to grow and achieve that next level.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Wow, do I love my job! I love to see athletes achieve their goals. I love to see their faces when they make connections in the office or on the field. I love to see them truly enjoy their sport and how it plays out on the court or field because who doesn't play their best when they are having fun?

And I can't forget the love I have from making the connections with the athletes

What are some of the aspects of the industry that are more challenging?

Even with all the talk about mental health in the past few years, I do realize there is still a stigma attached to it which is why I feel athletes will seek a mental performance coach before a mental health therapist. 

Working with teams has challenges too. Some players may not have the buy in, which can make the work more challenging but I try to connect with all players on the team to get the buy in.

Some coaches may feel they need to relinquish control for me to help, which is not the case at all. In fact, I need collaboration with coaches to be successful. 

What would be some tips to parents when it comes to their children and making sure they maintain strong mental health?

Some tips for parents would be to make sure their children are having fun and enjoy their sport.

I do see some young athletes come in and feel the pressure from their parents which could be the cause of them not playing at their best. 

Self-talk is one of the first questions I will ask about. How do they talk to themselves? Is how they talk to themselves productive? Would they talk to their friends the way they talk to themselves?

Another tip is uncovering their “why.” Why do they play their sport? Why do they love their sport? Keep that "why" at the forefront of their mind and make it part of their routine. 


What do you enjoy most about living in the North Florida area?

We moved down here because we love the fact that our children are safe and can go out and play. We love the location close to the beach and the community that Ponte Vedra offers. 

What do you like to do in your free time?

If I am not working, I can typically be found at one of our kids’ sporting events or at a UNF sporting event.

On the rare occasion that we do not have any sports, I will find something to ensure I do what I preach, which is self-care.

One of Us, Alison Leapley-Williams